Innovation and rural context: an exploratory case study of a small rural enterprise from the Czech Republic.

Izabella Steinerowska-Streb, Jindra Peterková , Artur Steiner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study identifies factors that encourage small rural enterprises to innovate and obstacles to introducing innovation. Using a case study of a rural business in the Czech Republic, the paper reveals that although rural businesses may experience innovation barriers, such as inadequate human resources and volatile market conditions, they can innovate, respond quickly and effectively to emerging market circumstances, and turn threats into opportunities for growth. Importantly, many of the challenges and opportunities for innovation interplay with each other, with some obstacles becoming a foundation of creative and innovative solutions that help to develop a sustainable, modern, and efficient enterprise. We highlight that the innovation of rural enterprises can be an outcome of pull and push factors that influence both product innovation as well as business innovation processes. Pull factors represent incentives and opportunities to stimulate rural innovation. Push factors, on the other hand, necessitate change and create pressures that must be addressed to ensure business longevity. The paper also shows that successful innovation is not free from agency, with the strategic vision and innovation outlook of business owners being a significant driver of innovation practices. Finally, our study shows that the innovation of rural enterprises depends on local, regional, national, and international connections, and goes beyond rural areas, with a ‘think local and act global’ approach helping to harness opportunities in wider markets.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Early online date27 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2024


  • innovation
  • rural enterprise
  • Czech Republic
  • pull and push factors
  • product innovation
  • business innovation processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Business and International Management


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